Research is reported which was conducted using a randomly selected Western Australian community sample and involved measuring the respondents′ preferred style of leadership. The results suggest that people do not think employees should participate in decisions which can lead to possible conflict between themselves and fellow workers. The study also identified certain background factors which influence the respondents′ ideal leadership style. For instance, women appeared to prefer a more democratic style than their male colleagues, being a member of a trade union seemed to influence a greater preference for non‐managerial workers and being in the workforce also tended to increase a preference for a democratic style. The results, therefore, suggest that the introduction of participative management systems should be piecemeal rather than an involvement in all decisions by all members of the enterprise and this may well differ between organisations. Thus managers of organisations, if they wish to introduce a participative managerial process, will have to consider the type of decisions to be made, the gender composition of the workforce and the union penetration of the workforce.
Soutar, G.N. and Savery, L.K. (1991), "Who Should Decide? Key Areas for Participation", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 8-11. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437739110140207
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